PSA-ARMM, Plan International promote birth registration of children
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-ARMM) and Plan International conducted a coordination meeting last 21 February 2019 at PSA-ARMM Regional Office, Cotabato City to talk about the promotion of birth registration among children in selected communities in Lanao del Sur. Ms. Cayang M. Macud, Chief of Civil Registration and Administrative Support Division (CRASD), represented Mr. Razulden A. Mangelen, OIC-Regional Director of PSA-ARMM, in this meeting as he has equally important commitments to attend to during the period.
Mr. John C. Tamayo, Project Manager of Plan International, introduced their organization, its mandates and priority programs. He emphasized the first objective of Plan International which states “enabling deprived children, their families and their communities to meet their basic needs and to increase their ability to participate in and benefit from their societies”. Plan International believes that the primary requirement for an individual to participate in and benefit from the society is birth registration. Birth Certificate gives identity to every individual and Plan International promotes the principle of “No Child Shall Be Left Behind”.
Mr. Tamayo also shared that their organization, in partnership with Save the Children and the Department of Education, is implementing a project called Pathways for iCOPE (Integrated and Inclusive Conflict-Sensitive Protection and Education for Children in Mindanao). This project aims to achieve a sustainable coordination among stakeholders to provide and support quality basic education services and protection. Plan International also recognizes the importance of birth certificates in education, such as for enrollment and proof of age in the case of student athletes, for example. In relation to this, the organization introduced the Birth Registration in Emergencies Toolkit (BRiE) under iCOPE. This is being co-implemented by Plan International with Save the Children in the targeted communities affected by Marawi Siege. BRiE basically aims to facilitate the birth registration of the 2,200 children aged 0 – 17 years old from the covered communities with the assistance of PSA and Local Civil Registrars (LCRs). In relation to this, Plan International created the Civil Documentation Working Group. This is composed of representatives from LCROs of Ditsa Ramain, Marawi City, and Balindong, PSA-Lanao del Sur, UNHCR and CFSI.
Ms. Farhana Jane S. Linso, Statistical Analyst of PSA-ARMM, shared that PSA-ARMM has already established a similar partnership with an NGO, except it is for the issuance of SECPA of birth certificates of children. The program of that organization also covers a huge population of children in a community. Based on their agreement with PSA-ARMM, the organization shall send an official letter every month stating their intent to request for SECPA of birth certificates of an average of 250 children listed in that letter. Also attached in the request letter are the authorization letter with photocopy of valid ID of parent/guardian of each child, pursuant to the Data Privacy Act of 2012. Moreover, CRASD Chief Macud and Mr. Delson A. Yusop, Registration Officer IV of PSA-ARMM, also expressed PSA-ARMM’s commitment to support Plan International in data dissemination and mainstreaming of civil registration among target communities.
As proposed during the meeting, PSA-ARMM will assist Plan International on the verification of records of the target children and in the issuance of Certificate of No Record (CNR). The Civil Documentation Working Group will facilitate a Birth Registration Fair or a one-stop-shop for birth registration in the target communities. Children will be able to secure their COLB using the CNR from PSA-ARMM. The COLB will then be transferred to PSA-ARMM for electronic endorsement.These plans will be subjected to OIC-RD Mangelen’s approval.
The two organizations are looking forward to more future partnerships. In relation to this, Plan International will be inviting PSA-ARMM to their several activities in Marawi City on 26 February to 01 March 2019 for the promotion of awareness on civil registration among the general public.